It was a game that had all the makings of a great battle. A renewed rivalry between two great hockey cities and two red-hot hockey teams set up Saturday’s game between the Jets and Red Wings. But the Red Wings did what they do, and the Jets fell flat in the second of back-to-back games.
Ondrej Pavelec started in net, stopping 19 of 26 shots for the Jets, while Chris Mason came in relief in the third period, stopping all three shots he faced. Jimmy Howard manned the crease at the other end of the rink, stopping 29 of 30 shots for the win.
The Jets started the scoring, showing off some great passing through the neutral zone. Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler executed the tic-tac-toe and finally fed Bryan Little who streaked into the Red Wings zone and backhanded the puck past Jimmy Howard. The goal came only 35 seconds into the game and gave the Jets an early 1-0 lead.
Detroit tied the game in the first period when Johan Franzen flipped the puck in front of the net to Todd Bertuzzi who fired the puck past Ondrej Pavelec. The Red Wing’s first goal came at 6:47 into the first.
Henrik Zetterberg grabbed the lead for the Red Wings with just over five minutes remaining in the opening period. A drop pass by Valtteri Filppula allowed Zetterberg to step into his shot and wire it past Ondrej Pavelec.
Jiri Hudler scored twice for the Red Wings, the only player with two goals. In total 14 Detroit players were on the score sheet, with six players registering two points each. It was a big second period that proved to be the difference in the game. The Jets came out flat in the middle frame, allowing four goals.
Special teams didn’t make any impact on the scoreboard, as all goals scored came at even strength. The Jets went to the man advantage twice, but were unable to convert, while the Red Wings went 0-for-3 on the powerplay.
Jiri Hudler scored his second goal of the night just over one minute into the third period. After turnover in the Jets zone, Hudler found the puck on his stick and fired home his second of the night 1:12 into the final period. The Hudler goal was enough to make Jets head coach Claude Noel make a change in net, pulling Ondrej Pavelec in favour of Chris Mason.
The Jets will look to quickly forget this 7-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, as they fly back to Winnipeg. The next game for the Jets comes Tuesday night at MTS Centre when they host the Minnesota Wild.